2022 BMW X7 facelift
2022 BMW X7 faceliftBMW

2022 BMW X7 facelift first drive review: Does a bigger grille make a better car?

The BMW X7 has gotten a facelift with brasher styling, refreshed interiors and small tweaks under the hood!

In the US of A, everything is king size. The cars, the food, the lifestyle. It is only appropriate, then, that BMW’s global drives of the new X7 take place there. It is, after all, BMW’s biggest, most luxurious, most over-the-top SUV. And on the face of it, it looks like its taking that attitude to the next level. Just a couple of years after the debut of the first ever X7 comes this facelift. And if you thought the kidneys on the original X7 was taking BMW styling too far, wait till you see what’s going on here!

2022 BMW X7 styling

Well, like so many recent BMW designs, you’re either going to love it or hate it. There is a fair bit going on here, and a lot of it will make sense if you’ve seen the other updated BMW flagship — the 7 Series. The face, particularly the split headlight design, is shared with the 7 Series, i7 and the BMW XM. It is radically different from any BMW face that has come before it but that is something we’re growing accustomed to, really. I’ll be honest with you though, I think this works! Of all the cars I just mentioned, I think this face sits on the X7 the best. And it really is an improvement over the last one — it looks more proportionate. The rear section has been tweaked too but not as radically. The taillamps have been evolved and the chrome strip now sits under a piece of glass, making it look a little more subtle. Oh, and the wheels have been upsized — you can now have it with up to 23-inch wheels!

2022 BMW X7 interiors

The interiors have received a fairly significant update too. The whole dash has been revised — not something you see often on facelifts as it does require a fair bit of moolah to do so. The steering wheel is a familiar one, but the twin curved screens behind it have been taken out of the 7 Series. They are large units — a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch infotainment screen. They’re slick units, with really high resolution displays though it does take some getting used to the menus. They’re running the latest iDrive system, and in fact, this whole car has been upgraded to a new generation electrical architecture. Smaller changes include the redesigned AC controls, the stubby gear selector and the backlit elements in the dashboard.

The second row remains ridiculously comfortable with captain seats, though there is the option to get a bench as well. The third row remains cramped for adults, but interestingly, you do get a separate sunroof just for the third row, in addition to the ginormous panoramic sunroof. Neat touch, and something we Indians would go crazy about. Boot space with all three rows up is limited — 326 litres with all three rows up but it will expand to 750 litres with the last row folded.

2022 BMW X7 engines

The X7 gets updated engines for 2022, and we found ourselves behind the wheel of the 40i variant. That features a straight-six turbo-petrol that puts out a cool 347bhp and 520Nm of torque — outputs that are more than generous to hustle the X7 along. While the engine may look similar on paper, there are actually significant changes inside. Firstly, this engine is now a mild hybrid, and it can be driven at low speeds in full EV mode. This is thanks to a switchable cam follower on the exhaust side. It also has an electric valvetrain on the intake side, and has switched to the miller combustion cycle, which is more efficient and less polluting.

Delivery from the engine is creamy smooth and refined, befitting of a luxury car. But poke it, and it is pretty sharp. 0-100kmph comes up in 5.8 seconds, which is brisk for a 2-point-something tonne SUV. It picks up pace with intent, you can hear the six-cylinder growling in the distance as it does so. This is generous performance for an SUV like the X7 — the only time you’re really going to be calling on that sort of acceleration is out for quick overtakes on the highway for which it will willingly oblige. The rest of the time, you’ve got a smooth, quiet bruiser with plenty of performance in reserve.

2022 BMW X7 chassis

The chassis has been honed on the X7 — it was already best-in-class when it comes to dynamic ability and it just got a little better. The steering system has been revised and so has the damping — to make the body movement more controlled. We were driving the car with the full fat 23s and sticky Pirelli P Zero rubber so the upper limits of its dynamic capability were hard to come close to on the public road. But the beauty of the X7 is that it feels incredibly connected at whatever speeds you choose to drive it. Turn in is quick, there’s roll but it is well controlled and this comes together to give the feeling that the X7 is very eager to go harder around bends. Its unlikely we’ll get the 23s in India, more likely the ‘base’ 21s, but that should still keep the X7 in a league of its own in terms of dynamic ability. The X7 is king-sized but its dynamic abilities beg to differ.

The USA’s unblemished roads were impossible to give us a clear idea of the ride quality of the X7, so that’s best judged when we get the car to drive back home. That said, the vertical movement has been controlled to a large degree on the highways. You do feel a bit of it, but it's never unnerving.

The 2022 BMW X7 gets twin curved screen inside
The 2022 BMW X7 gets twin curved screen insideBMW

2022 BMW X7 verdict

Overall, the X7 has taken a step up — the styling has gotten more in-your-face, the interiors have been made way more contemporary and there are small tweaks to the engine and chassis. Nothing massive, but these are significant changes for a mere mid-life refresh. With them, the X7 becomes even more relevant at the top of the luxury market, where it takes on the Mercedes-Benz GLS and the Audi Q8. As for prices, the older X7 40i sat at Rs 1.18 crore ex-showroom. By the time you read this, prices for the facelift in India should have been announced and we expect it to be a slight hike on the older prices. The X7’s strength’s lie in the fact that it retain’s BMW’s driver’s car traits with incredibly dynamic ability, while being a bonafide luxury car at the same time. It’s a good mix that not everyone can nail.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Evo India